what does dependency on your T mean?

it was rough and awkward, especially the beginning, but it was good all around. he usually goes over time by a few minutes, but we went over by about 20 minutes this session. i feel better and more welcome after today. won't be back for another 2-1/2 weeks, but i'm okay with that, especially given money issues. i have a session secured, and that's good enough for me.

thanks for your support, erica, cat, and Draggers. it means alot.
Oh Ninn, that sounds rough! I don't know anything about you or your T, but I am slowly (by reading here for example) coming to accept that allowing ourselves to become (temporarily) dependent on our T can be an important part of therapy. Unfortunately, not all Ts are comfortable with this and of course there are so many different approaches to therapy. Your T doesn't sound terribly attuned to you right now and I don't mean to be too forthright but I would personally consider looking for another T too. I know that would be a massively difficult step, but it seems such a fundamental issue...

I'm finding the whole dependency and attachment thing really, really difficult and while I sense that my T is all for this type of therapy, I still feel I need her to tell me it's okay to feel this attachment and dependency (whatever that means - must read rest of thread!) because it feels so weird and sort of wrong.

Anyway, sorry to hear about your situation...

D&C
Hm, this does sound rather odd. I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you. I think fortnightly sessions must be hard. Maybe she has her reasons and senses that you're in a place where you might be able to show more self care and compassion but the timing seems so off (sorry about your mum btw!)... But I definitely think you should raise this with her, especially if you think there might be other underlying reasons for this. It sounds like it might be a relatively recent shift in her attitude, given that she was fine with you needing her? Maybe you can tell her that atm it doesn't feel like you're getting what you need from her and even raise the idea of seeing another T to get another viewpoint on this. Maybe you can work through this with her but you need to try and share this with her...
(((CD)))

I'm back! I can completely relate to this. I love and hate the dependency all at the same time! For me, the dependency looks like this:

Anything that comes up at all that creates anxiety or fear or or pretty much any uncomfortable feeling, I feel that I need her to get through it

I think about her about hmmmm...832 times a day. Ok, maybe about 10 times a day, but that feels like alot b/c when I think of her it's for long periods of time.

I have a strong fear of something happening to her b/c I truly feel (right now) that I NEED her to survive.

However....I do believe that this dependency (maybe not so extreme though ) is needed in order to heal. I look at it this way...if I didn't "depend" on her, then why would I have any desire to continue therapy or to work through my stuff. Meaning, when my fears come up and I think of her, it's because right "now", I need her to help me process, learn, and eventually be able to deal with this on my own. I believe there will come a time when I will not depend on her and be able to live life a different way..figure things out on my own. I don't know exactly how long that will take...and the strong dependency does scare me and even makes me feel inadequate at times. But I guess it's necessary....part of the process...I hope.

So I don't really know if that helped, but that's my thoughts on it. It causes me pain too. Hang in there.

Ninn... where did your post go? I came back to respond to you and it went poof.

I just wanted to say that next month with be four years of TWICE WEEKLY sessions with my T. He has no issue with my dependence. I also have outside contact with him. He feels that the solution to childhood deprivation is NOT further deprivation. He does not worry about my dependence and tells me I can stay as long as I wish to. He said at some point I may decide to see him less often but our commitment is forever. He tells me that the first two years we are just getting to know each other.

I don't remember what else you said but I think you should let your T know that there are many other T's out there that don't have an issue with you going once a week for 4 years. As long as you feel it helps you and you can pay her and you are working in therapy, then what is her problem? Would she send a four year old out to live on her own to avoid the child becoming dependent?? I doubt it. You need to be dependent before you can become interdependent.

I hope you are doing okay.

TN
TN....I got scared....I was to have a phone session with T last night at 7....at 7:45 she hadn't called or texted to cancel or change the time and I freaked thinking she had come here and read my post. Gee that's dumb, I know, but it seriously crossed my mind AND scared me. She finally called at 8:30 saying she was sorry she had a crisis to deal with.

Thank you for posting to me!

I am not okay. I had the courage to talk to T about being "sad I couldn't be dependent on her." She said, "uh huh." The conversation continued, and I grew more upset. She basically compared me to a thirty year old child that wouldn't move out of her parent's home (I'm 41 and she knows, just using 30 for....?)....then she asked me to pick one of my children and said I'd want them to be independent, she started to list how my daughter would grow in independence from age 10 up and around age 18 I told her, "will you stop?" She said she would stop and did. But,....kept on about the thirty year old thing and did I want my daughter to move out....and that's what she wants for me. I told her, you're not my mom! She said, no I'm not, but I've played that role, of acceptance and nurturing. I told her I wanted to see her weekly. She asked what would be different and I said, one week I wouldn't see you, then I'd get to see you. Somewhere in the conversation she asked what I'd want her to say, or better yet what would I want my mom to say, and I said, I'll be there for you whenever you need me. She said, and your mom hasn't been, and I haven't been able to, although at least once a week is predictable. I said again, I want to see you every week, and she said, if we do that then you need to commit to getting involved in the community. I told her, never mind it doesn't matter!!!!! She said, it does, you matter. I was just angry then....I got no where, just simply called a child, and a child that doesn't deserve a person to be there for me!!! I hate her right now. She's no better than my mom who failed me. I'm angry, sad, pushed away, alone, afraid, confused, let down.... I'm not going back weekly, it doesn't matter anymore Frowner
Hi Ninn,

My heart just hurt reading your post. I could just feel the pain if my T said that to me. I am so sorry. You took a huge risk and showed tremendous courage to bring up the subject of dependence.

I am struggling with being dependent on my T, or anyone really. I'm reading a book right now called Changes That Heal by Henry Cloud. He talks about the first most crucial and important step to healing is the ability to bond. His definition of bonding is being able to become vulnerable and needy and having our needs met. If we have not bonded and had our needs met, he says that separateness and having boundaries feels like hell.

He says, "There must be internal bonding for one to be ale to establish boundaries. Without it, boundaries as they were meant to be cannot exist. It is limits without love, and that is hell."

My T2 said dependency is needing outside validation and every human needs it. She said especially for those of us whose value, worth, feelings, and thoughts were invalidated as children, the more dependent we need to be in therapy in order to heal. She said until we can internalize our worth validated by our Ts, it is impossible for us to validate our own needs and take care of ourselves.

I am so sorry you felt pushed away and alone when you needed her to embrace your vulnerability.

By the way, it's not dumb to think your T reads your posts. I fear that every day. Most of the time when I delete my posts its because I'm afraid my T will read it. Totally understand your fear.


PassionFruit
Thinking of Stoppers, I get your position on using a therapist while not getting too close. I started out that way, but in my case, I was dissociated between my adult self and "inner child". That was a good thing for me because the more separate inner child keep bugging me with its different needs and feelings. It felt distinct and I couldn't send it away. The child wanted more from the T relationship, but was avoidant due to major mistreatment in childhood.
I'm just saying how this worked for me, and not trying to persuade anyone. Therapy has its own pace and is step by step through years, sometimes.
But I do remember having a disdain for any "soft" feelings for any T, and I went through about six before I found this one I can trust.
PassionFruit,
Thank you for your kindness.

"If we have not bonded and had our needs met, he says that separateness and having boundaries feels like hell"

I keep reading that....taking me a little bit to process what that means or what that feels like to me. I think my T is feeling that my 'hell' is caused BY the dependence....I'm thinking more along the lines of what you have typed....that I haven't had the time to BE dependent on T and get needs met ... long enough ....?

I'm short on time to respond, but I wanted to thNk you for sharing the book with me and your kindness.

Ninn
quote:
T reflected my feelings and position beautifully a little while ago. He said if we were to seriously inform our 4 year child of the expectation that one day they will be grown up and move away from us into their own house, to drive their own car, they will be aghast...terrified. How will they ever be able to do these things? It is unimaginable and their poor little minds will suffer melt down at the thought. If every day of their life we badger them with this expectation and start moving them toward that prematurely, they will be in a state of constant anxiety and will rebel against any effort on our part to encourage responsibility...the result will be just the opposite of what we are demanding. So we don't do that.



Monte... my T has said the same type of thing to me more than once. When he relates it to my child I can see so clearly what he means and then I can relax into the dependence I so need in order to move through those developmental steps that were denied to me in childhood.

The other day my son said to me "mom I don't think I ever want to live alone". So I told him that he can live here with us for as long as he wants and I would never ask him to leave. He said Okay and went on with his day with a smile. Now, I know that one day he will be ready and able to move out on his own but why badger him with that now before he is ready and before he can developmentally grasp that?

You T is pushing you out on your own before you are ready and that just does not work. I agree with Monte that she does not either trust or understand the process and this is causing you so much pain. I am truly sorry she is behaving this way. I wish I could help you in some way because you sound so sad. I know you tried to talk to her and that was frustrating for you. I would at least ask her if she would push a 4 year old out of the house so they could learn to be independent? See what she say.

I wish you the best. Please keep posting here for support.

Hugs
TN
quote:
The other day my son said to me "mom I don't think I ever want to live alone".


Boo tells me the same thing, that she is just going to live with mom forever, usually in response to my answering about different periods in my life, like when I talked about riding my bike around college, because I lived on campus. I don't go on about how she needs to be prepared to gout on her own someday. Life will figure all that out, whatever and whenever is right for her. I just enjoy that she feels safe with her family in the here and now. My T also looks at my child parts from that perspective and it helps reduce anxiety. Feeling safe like that as a kid was not something I had. I frequently daydreamed about getting stranded without my family on a desert island or being taken away from them some other way. So, if those internal kids have finally found somewhere safe enough to say, "I want to stay here forever," I think the quickest way to independence is to encourage and celebrate that safety.
I went on a little vacation with my four kids this past weekend. During my 5 hour drive, there and then back, I thought about this some more.

Monte, what you say makes sense. I kept thinking about what you said. Then thinking about how I deal with my children. One still says he will live with me forever. Then I thought about what my T said about telling her what I thought I wanted my own mom to tell me....that she would be there whenever I needed her. And, then of course T's reaction was that she would NOT be there for me whenever I needed her....so why try to say she's in a mother position for me....she's really not. What mom would say, I'll talk to you one time a week for 50 minutes and no other time. Well, at least not a 'typical mom,' or at least not me. I'd not say that to my children.

"If you are baulking so powerfully at the idea of less than weekly appointments, surely your T needs to step back and have a look at the cause of your insecurity, and expose it and address it."

I wish she would help me to feel safe and loved....something happened and it is all falling apart. I don't feel like I trust her right now.

I do notice when I suggest longer intervals between sessions (like in the past couple of years) it has felt safe to do so....but if T suggests it, I get sick to my stomach and feel pushed away and feel terrified. It is like I regress. I don't necessarily need her more, well, maybe reassurance that she is there....ugh....I don't know.

I do feel very child-like right now. In general I feel very emotionless....I mean my husband has been travelling a lot - I have no feeling about it, my mom had a heart attack - I have no feeling about it, my T doesn't want to see me weekly - I do have feelings about it and I begin to say "it doesn't matter" like I did as a teen when I tried to dismiss my feelings or myself - like I wanted to disappear from the world because no one would listen to my feelings or ask about them anyway.

My husband suggested that T went to a seminar and listened to a session on "dependency" and then came home and started pushing me away. She did just go to a seminar like a month or two ago. It kind of makes sense.

She used to be warm and accepting of my needing her. Although I have only had twice a week sessions during my separation from my husband, it has mostly been weekly otherwise. Only a few times I have gone twice a month instead of four times. When I do that I get this fear that if I had to cancel one session then the time between sessions turns into four weeks and that SCARES me. I've told her that, and she has said that I could get a different day/different appointment if I had to cancel Wednesday at 11. But in my experience, in the past, I have not been able to get an appointment with short notice. She's always booked up a month out, at least.

TN, thank you again. I have been very sad this past month, but knowing you are here, as well as other forum members, listening and hearing me and supporting me does help.

I don't want to see T tomorrow, but I'm not going to cancel. I've been thinking about writing my feelings on a small piece of paper and handing it to her when I get there. I've never done it and I'm curious what she would do/say if I did.

Thanks again for listening; I appreciate you.

Ninn

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